jlf is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Jeremy Fischer
Member since: 2000-08-01 17:22:01
Last Login: N/A

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Homepage: http://www.pobox.com/~jeremy/


I'm a sysadmin turned manager. What the hell was I thinking ? I've gotten a bigger salary, but my stomach seems to hurt all of the time, now and the bitterness is only more embedded. I've decided that I need to spend more time actually doing the technical things I enjoy. Most of my development work has been for quick and dirty shims and utilities for my employer or my former employer. I've begun doing some packaging work on McFeely. I've also done a suite of dhcp server management utils for the ISC DHCP Server that I want to polish up and release. Basically, I want to actually get to develop, learn, and grow.


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Hrm...it's been awhile, I suppose. Looks like the last thing was 3-4 months ago. I'm still here, still doing the same thing, though I'm still not happy about it. I'm actually in the midst of a tremendously long email to my boss trying to get him to understand why the morale at work see-saws the way it does and what exactly it is that my wandering band of singing systhugs really wants.

Is it money ? Well, sure, everyone would like more money. Is it toys ? That'd be nice...I could use a nice laptop or new gigantor workstation.

There are lots of things it could be about...but I think what we'd all really like to see is strong, visionary leadership. Where I work has a plethora of good people and we could do so much more, I think. I hope for the best. I really do. It's not without hope, I think...and I'm a pessimist, so I suppose that says something.

I've been spending some quality time with dhcpreg. I finally got it split into a secure vs. suid package. Working on it made me realize how much more time I'd like to spend coding.

Hrm...it's been awhile. I've been bogged down with work and class. I'm trying to figure out just exactly why I thought and Information Science masters would be fun and not too much of a time sink. Yeesh. I've been on the one class a semester plan now (with the occasional extra class or two in the summer) for about two years now. I'm insanely tired of it. Anyone out there have an Information Science or similar Library/Information Science masters ? I'd like to hear how you're using it if you have one.

In my last post, I talked about office politics and the silliness that often ensues. I got some really good responses to it. Thanks to all those who replied. I can live with the fact that people, including myself, might seek situations where the politics will come to play. What I still can't figure out is what to do about it. In my situation, I often get pimpslapped by political situations because there is some impediment to me or my staff getting something done. Instead of just sitting back and twiddling my thumbs, I try to get some sort of resolution. That's when things hit the fan, I guess, and *whammo* political quagmire. I can't imagine that I'd want to just sit back and do nothing because I view a big part of my managerial role as doing whatever needs to be done so that my employees can get their jobs done without having to deal with the garbage that happens between departments or between us and upper management.

In my current gig, there's issues with getting resources allocated properly. In order to get what we need, it's been like pulling teeth. We're having issues with the processes that should be happening at the senior management level. I can't get the people and stuff I need for my people to do their jobs as efficiently as they could/should be able to. So, into the political fray I go again. The only thing that's really happened thusfar is a lot of hot air and me getting extremely pissed off, hostile, and damn near ready to go critical mass. I'm going to take a couple of days off this next week before T-giving, so that will help bring my blood pressure down, but how about dealing with the proverbial unmovable object that is the political/managerial chain ? Anyone else been here and done that ? Got any thoughts for a novice manager ? I'd truly appreciate any advice..

If you have thoughts about either Info Science degrees or how to manage your managers,mail me. I can use any advice you have to offer.

Today's random thought that is coursing through my mind:

What is it about human nature that makes people think that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence ?

Being the rather short-fused, easily incited person that I am, lately I've come to realize that unless you take a cdent style leap out into the unknown or shake a venture capitalist out of a tree and start your own company, that politics are politics and bureaucracy is everywhere. I know in some places it's better or worse than others...but it's still there. If you pay attention to it, it's always going to bother you. Maybe not today, but someday it will.

I left my last job because I hated the politics and felt trapped. I came to my new job, refreshed and ready to work. The problem is that I also brought me with me. For awhile, I worked well, keeping hunkered down and getting shit done. It felt good. I was working hard, learning a lot, and soaking in the smarts of the people around me. At some point, perhaps because of my friendship with Chris, I started paying more attention to the politics and problems. It's like smoking (I'm an ex-smoker): you know it's bad, but once you acquire a taste for it, it's awfully hard to quit. I got mired into it, caught up in the power plays and trying to work hard to push the agenda for us. Then, I became the manager and it got even worse. Now I see even more of the politics and machinations. It makes me feel a little ill at times. I heavily considered for awhile that I needed a change of venue. I think that may have just been my fear of a company without my pal Chris being here. I'm not entirely sure.

I'm trying to reign it in a little bit for my own sanity. I've determined that until I figure out how to be happy with just the work I do, that I'll take this baggage to any new job and start the cycle anew. Besides, I've only been the manager for about 8 months. Surely I can make it past a year, right ? Perhaps longer.

I wonder, though, what can one do to boost the morale of a group when it is low and upper management seems either unable or unwilling to do much of anything ?

Any thoughts about that ?

Oh good...another version of DHCPReg is complete and up on Systhug.

Busy week. Not much time to write. More later...

13 Sep 2000 (updated 14 Sep 2000 at 01:33 UTC) »

Well, it's Wednesday again. Time for my Digital Libraries class. I'll say one thing for this class, I'm getting a lot of coding done. Heh. I'm only 4 or 5 classes away from my Master's. I've lost interest in it, unfortunately...but I'm so close that I just want it to be done.

Anyway, I got another release of DHCPReg rolled out tonight. I think I might actually get another done either tonight or tomorrow. No new functionality in it yet. I'm going back and modularizing things. At some point, I'll probably split DHCPReg into the utils suite and the modules suite so people can use the modules without the other things if they so desire. I wonder if that's something I should do.

My personal mail is getting backed up. Apologies, jrf, I'll get caught up tonight.

Back to class...


Well, got an almost functioning get-lease-list.pl. My ipsorter isn't working right, though. Bugger. Maybe later on.

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